To the Gazette:
As the nation mourns the loss of Senator Ted Kennedy, I would like to add my recollection of this skilled and powerful man.
Until the liberal press and network news declared it “not politically correct,” Ted Kennedy was known as the Senator of Sleaze, who was a drunk that used his position and name to chase young women for his pleasure. If you were born after 1959, you will probably not remember Chappaquiddick or Mary Jo Kopechne, a young and attractive Kennedy staffer. One night in 1969, a drunken Ted Kennedy was driving Mary Jo back to the Kennedy family compound on Martha’s Vineyard when he ran off the road into a body of water. Kennedy got out and swam ashore, but left Mary Jo to die. In the meantime, he walked back to his motel, complained about a noisy party, took a shower, went to sleep, woke up, ordered newspapers and spoke to a friend and two lawyers before calling the police -- some nine hours after the accident!
Had this incident happened in any other state by anyone other than a Kennedy, the charge would have been some form of homicide. Not good ole Teddy, no sir-ee. He was allowed to plead guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and he received a two-year suspended sentence. He also paid the Kopechne family about $100,000. Mary Jo’s mother later said “He never even said he was sorry.’
In 1983, his wife Joan divorced him and publically admitted she was an alcoholic brought on by her husband’s philandering. Joan Kennedy said she could no longer stand the hypocrisy of her husband’s public stance on family values while at the same time he was having untold affairs.
I cannot think of one piece of legislation that Ted introduced that has benefited us in the Midwest. He reformed immigration, labor laws, supported pro-choice abortion rights, voted for gun control and supported gay rights.
That my friends, is how I will remember Ted Kennedy.